You will notice that every therapist on the GHI website has a VERIFICATION stamp on their profile. When selecting a therapist, it's important to understand what it means that a therapist has been verified by GHI and what the licensing regulations are in Israel so that you can make an informed decision.
In Israel, there are 3 categories of mental health professionals who are eligible for license:
This means that some highly qualified and experienced Anglo professionals come to Israel and are not able to transfer their degrees here. The titles that fall in this category include Counseling Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, and Psychotherapists. Legally, these professionals are able to practice privately. There is simply no regulation for professionals who are not psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers. On one hand, this enables qualified Anglo professionals who are unable to convert their degree in Israel to work in Israel. On the other hand, it opens the door for unqualified individuals to call themselves therapists and see clients without adequate training in the field. The result is that clients who do not know how to distinguish between these professionals are at risk for not benefitting, or worse, getting harmed by the unqualified professional that they trusted.
When GHI was founded in 2016, it was with the understanding that many Anglo Olim prefer to work with a native English-speaking therapist who is culturally aware and sensitive to the experience of an Oleh. Yet, the existing system in Israel doesn't account for a large number of MA, Psy.D and Ph.D trained clinicians who have been trained abroad, many of whom are licensed or license eligible by reputable licensing bodies in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. GHI therefore set up criteria for membership that would enable qualified clinicians holding a minimum of an MA or higher in the mental health field from an accredited university to join GHI - The Israel Association of Mental Health Professionals. Types of professionals at GHI include: Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, Addictions Specialists, Play Therapists, Sex Therapists, Psychotherapists, Expressive Arts Therapists, Career Counselors, and Life Coaches. The criteria for membership for Life Coaches differs from that of therapists in that a life coach must have a life coaching certification from a life coaching program that meets the International Coaching Federation's (ICF) requirements for Associate Certified Coach (ACC) or higher. GHI's academic requirements for membership uphold a high standard of training in the field and enable English-speakers to find a wide range of qualified professionals whose credentials have been verified to meet those requirements.
In order to become a member of Get Help Israel (GHI), professionals must submit copies of their credentials showing proof that they meet the qualifications requirements stated above. All qualifications listed on the therapist's profile have been checked to be accurate at the time that the therapist joined GHI. This includes the post-graduate degree, years in practice (which cannot exceed the date of graduation from the post-graduate program), and any additional credentials/certifications.
The verification process is for purposes of providing a database of credentialed professionals and does not ensure efficacy of therapies provided by any individual therapist or facility that is a member of GHI. Persons considering contacting any of the professionals in the GHI database are urged to conduct their own personal evaluation regarding the efficacy of the therapist prior to retaining their services.
You will find that all professionals who are titled Social Worker, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist will have an Israel license number indicated on their profile. Legally, these professionals may not practice in Israel without an Israeli license.
All other professional titles do not have an Israeli license (for reasons stated above). Some hold professional licenses from outside of Israel, such as Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) from the US. This information will be stated in the QUALIFICATIONS section of the profile.
Some professionals are members of other private associations, in addition to GHI, that have training requirements in specialized areas. These associations include but are not limited to The Israel Association for Couple and Family Therapy, Israel Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies (ITA), The Israeli Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IAPP), Israeli Jungian Society, Israel Psychological Association (IPA), Israel Psychoanalytic Society (IPS), The Israeli Sandplay Therapists Association (ISTA).
If you have any questions or concerns about a therapist's training, we urge you to address them with the clinician during your phone consultation. It is their ethical duty to be transparent in their ability to treat the issues that you are inquiring about.
In the unlikely event that you feel that a therapist listed on GHI has behaved in a way that is unethical or unprofessional, please contact us. We do have an ethics board and will do everything we can to ensure that any professional that is listed under our auspices maintains the highest professional and ethical standards.